Barcelona reserves hold Benfica as Juventus beat Shakhtar

Thu, Dec 6, 2012, 00:00

Group G:Benfica missed out on a place in the last 16 of the Champions League when they were held to a 0-0 draw by a weakened Barcelona to finish third behind Celtic .

The visitors carved a number of openings in the first half but were profligate with their shooting. They ran out of ideas and steam, although they almost grabbed a dramatic goal in time added on.

Lionel Messi came on as a second-half substitute but ended up leaving the pitch on a stretcher after a collision with visiting goalkeeper Artur at the end of the match although initial reports indicate the injury is not serious.

Benfica forward Rodrigo fired wide of the post in a three-on-one chance after 12 minutes as Barca lacked their usual fluidity and were pressed back. Benfica’s Maxi Pereira blazed a shot over the bar in the fifth minute of time added on and with it went their chances of qualification.

Group E:Juventus went through to the last 16 with a 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk that put them top of the group.

Defender Olexandr Kucher deflected a cross from Juve’s Sebastian Giovinco into his own net in the 56th minute to give the Italians the win.

Juventus defender Kwadwo Asamoah nearly got an own goal himself later in the second half as he turned to deal with a Razvan Rat cross, but struck the post.

Group F:Sherdan Shaqiri, given his first Champions League start for Bayern Munich, scored one and set up another to help last season’s runners-up beat BATE Borisov 4-1 with a mainly second-string side .

Mario Gomez, starting a match in the competition for the first time this season after injury, Thomas Mueller and David Alaba scored the others as Bayern, already qualified, topped Group F and avenged their 3-1 defeat away to the Belarus champions.

Elsewhere in Group F, a first-half penalty by Jonas was enough for Valencia to see off already-eliminated Lille 1-0 away but the Spanish side still had to settle for second place in the group behind Bayern Munich.

Group H:Second-half goals from Galatasaray’s in-form striker Burak Yilmaz and substitute Aydin Yilmaz cancelled out Braga’s opener in a memorable comeback 2-1 win that sends the Turkish Champions through to the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in a decade.

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